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The CLIOTOP MAAS (Mid-trophic Automatic Acoustic Sampling) project and the EurOcean consortium are organizing a workshop in May 2011 in Bergen to address both technological and modeling issues related to the MAAS development, and their interactions.

The technological challenges that will be covered are plans and concepts for novel platforms carrying acoustics (and complementary techniques: any technology that can be used to supplement acoustics - e.g. for species identification- will be considered), energy supply and consumption, and data transfer technology.

Presently, acoustics cannot provide measures of the species-specific biomass of all taxa. Complementary technologies have to be used and ecosystem models need to be tailored to the available data. The modeling part of the workshop will focus mainly on the model-data links.

It will cover the topics required to design a large scale observational systems and to improve the combination of models and observations through data assimilation. The use of acoustic data in marine ecosystem models is indeed often done in a fairly naïve way, typically by assuming that acoustic measurements can provide acute and precise estimates of biomass. This leads to underestimated uncertainty and potentially biased results. Conversely, our approach will be based on the use of statespace models, including separate sub-models for observation (coupling observed acoustic signal to real abundance) and for biological processes (e.g., spatio-temporal changes in abundance).

The workshop will follow up on a CLIOTOP workshop organized in Sete in 2007 (http://brage.bibsys.no/imr/handle/URN:NBN:no-bibsys_brage_15667?locale=en), where the technical specifications of MAAS were discussed in detail and plans for its large scale deployment were made. Further progress made can be found in http://brage.bibsys.no/imr/handle/URN:NBN:nobibsys_ brage_14369?locale=en and the references therein.